Gordon Banks, England’s 1966 World Cup Winning Goalkeeper Has Died, Aged 81

by : Francesca Donovan on : 12 Feb 2019 10:00
gordon banks englandgordon banks englandPA

Gordon Banks, England’s 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper, has died aged 81.

Banks earned 73 caps for England, and won the League Cup with both Leicester City and Stoke City. He was also named Fifa goalkeeper of the year six times for his skill, prowess and good natured love of the beautiful game.


Still, Banks of England as he was popularly known, will be remembered as one of the greats of English football, after playing in goal for Sir Alf Ramsey’s legendary side.

England 1966 World Cup FinalEngland 1966 World Cup FinalGetty

The Banks family announced their loss the morning after he passed away on Monday 11 February, 2019, reports the BBC.

They said:


It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight.

We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him.

Now, tributes have flooded Twitter for the late, great sportsman:


Gary Lineker wrote:

Oh no. Gordon Banks, an absolute hero of mine, and countless others, has died. @England’s World Cup winner was one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, and such a lovely, lovely man. #RIPGordon

A highlight of his career has to be the wonder save – a display of intense athleticism – to thwart Pelé in 1970, which has since been lauded as one of the greatest feats of goalkeeping.

His gravity-defying save of Pelé’s lunging header in Mexico 1970 became known as the save of the century, reports The Guardian, but Banks was absent due to illness in the quarter-final defeat to West Germany.


Banks later recalled:

As I got to my feet, Pelé came up to me and patted me on the back. ‘I thought that was a goal’, he said. ‘You and me both,’ I replied.

Pele playing footballPele playing footballWikimedia Commons

He continued:


The TV footage of the game shows me laughing as I turn to take up my position for the corner. I was laughing at what Bobby Moore had just said to me.

‘You’re getting too old Banksy, you used to hold on to them.’ Like hell I did.

Banks’ playing career was brought to an abrupt end in 1972 when a car accident robbed him of sight in one eye.

Gordon Banks smilingGordon Banks smilingPA

After stints in the United States for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in 1977 and 1978, Banks briefly managed Telford United, but quit the game after he was sacked in December 1980.

In December 2015, it was announced he was receiving treatment for kidney cancer.

What a legend. RIP Gordon.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Francesca Donovan

A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you've never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.

Topics: News


The Guardian and 1 other
  1. The Guardian

    Gordon Banks, World Cup winner with England in 1966, dies aged 81

  2. BBC

    Gordon Banks: World Cup winning goalkeeper dies aged 81